The Autumn Room on the River Beās at Raison D'Etre


Kamra privata ġewwa suite privata ospitat/a minn Shalini

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Raison D'Etre is the only private riverfront home between Kullu & Manali that's open to guests. We have our own little river beach and an infinity pool overlooking the Beās.

Your cottage sits in a riverside orchard where we grow plums, peaches, nectarines apricots, apples, persimmons, strawberries & kiwis. Also, many of the herbs & vegetables that go into the food we serve - which could be Asian, European or Indian, depending upon the ingredients available and the whims of the resident chef.

The guest cottage is separated from our home by a garden. The entire property sprawls across one acre and features an exclusive 250 foot riverfront with mountains along both banks.

To ensure there's lots of space and privacy, guest accommodation is limited to just 4 ensuite bedrooms over the entire 40,000 sq ft spread. The Autumn Room is one of two on the first floor.

There are fish ponds and water features all around, fed by the Spring at the centre of the orchard.

At the heart of Raison D'Etre is the property's raison d'etre - a perennial source of some of the purest spring water on earth.

By a happy accident, because we are deep in the bowl of the valley, the forces of nature conspire to push up crystal-clear, mineral-rich water from a Himalayan aquifer that's hundreds of feet below us, but stretches halfway up the mountains.

This is the water we drink; and there's so much of it naturally welling up, we use it for practically everything else - including the gravity-overflow infinity pool we swim in. Down the road, a top mineral water brand sources and sells this very water across India - by the bottle!

The four bedrooms in the guest cottage, two on each floor, open into cosy living and dining areas.

Though similar in size, each room has a distinct character shaped by its decor - an eclectic mix of vintage & modern furniture, and art, collected over the years we spent living in different parts of India.

Bombay Parsi, Calcutta Zamindar, Delhi Art Deco and discarded antique pieces from the family haveli in UP rub shoulders with modern designs in mango, sheesham and railway sleeper wood. The locally crafted iron & brass wood-burning stoves are a special highlight.

Original paintings, numbered prints and ceramic works, some by well-known artists - many friends and colleagues - brighten up the walls.

More than the decor, though, we've tried to ensure that each room is designed to be practical and comfortable. Thoughtfully crafted spaces, airy and filled with light, are fitted out with ergonomically placed fixtures and fittings.

For the beds, especially, we've traded character for comfort. After all, a good night's sleep is necessary to truly appreciate the beauty, action and adventure Manali is famous for.

The bathrooms have been paid special attention to. They're designed to be cosy and free of drafts, even in winter. The fittings are Grohe, Jaquar or Vitra. There's plenty of solar-supplemented hot water on tap. And we've created our own line of indulgent bath products and toiletries, inspired by places around the valley. Everything is placed in environment-friendly dispensers, completely eliminating single-use plastic.

In addition to electric kettles, the living+dining spaces are equipped with microwaves and refrigerators. There's cutlery, crockery, water, wine & whisky glasses and a dish washing station. Board games are available on request.

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7 iljieli ġewwa Manali

29 Ott 2022 - 5 Nov 2022

5.0 out of 5 stars from 6 reviews


Fejn se tkun

Manali, Himachal Pradesh, l-Indja

Raison D'Etre is located down a village road, just 250 meters off NH-3, on the right bank of the river Beas. We are roughly halfway between Kullu and Manali, either town being less than a 30 minute drive away.

This central location means easy access to not just the best of what both places have to offer, but to almost any other noteworthy spot in the valley. It also means many of the other beautiful valleys and Himalayan passes close by - Lahaul, Spiti, Parvati, Sainj, Banjar, Rohtang - are easier to visit for day trips if you are staying with us.

If you're looking, instead, for a destination to get away to and unwind, dare we say, Raison D'Etre is it. We should know: we spent close to 2 years on the same search before stumbling upon this location; and almost a decade building it!

Our village, Raison, is the only one along the valley floor that has remained untouched by the ravages of commercial tourism. That's because the sheer size of the land holdings here, with most of the land given over to large fruit orchards and country homes, has kept the mushrooming of ugly little hotels and shops at bay.

Unlike Kullu or Manali, where the weather is prone to extremes of heat or cold, Raison is located in the exact sweet spot of the valley, the truly temperate zone where the weather is perfect all year round. Other than the very few rainy days, there is no season when we do not spend our days outdoors.

The neighbourhood is peaceful, with quiet walking trails up the hills or along the river, and to villages nearby. It is a short walk to NH-3, the main Kullu-Manali highway, and to the tiny Raison market and bus stop.

Milqugħ minn Shalini

  1. Ingħaqad fi Lulju 2020
  • 11-il Review
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As far back as my memory stretches, I obsessively drew one recurring scene in art class: a wonky little house with sloping red roofs sat in the middle of a rolling meadow, surrounded by giant yellow sunflowers. The perfect 'hum do, humare do' family of stick figures stood waving to the viewer across a blue stream that rambled in the foreground. Fish leapt in delight. Far in the distance, a golden sun, with alternating long and short rays, peeked out between snow-capped mountains. Cauliflower clouds drifted lazily by...

And then, at art school, I met Nitin. One of the things we laughed about was how he'd painted practically the very same idyllic scene for much of his growing years. Who knew, then, that one day we'd bring that fantasy home to life in a Himalayan riverside village called Raison, and playfully call it Raison D'Etre - our reason for existence. Subconsciously, I guess, this is where we were headed our entire lives.

Nitin and I have spent close to a decade designing, landscaping and building Raison D'Etre, our home on the right bank of the river Beas, in the valley that's been home to Nitin's family for nearly two centuries.

And those ten years of happy toil don't include the eighteen months we spent scouring the entire span of the western Himalayan foothills, from Kumaon to Kullu, in search of the perfect location to retire to. A place with weather so good, you could spend 360 days of the year outdoors. Where we wouldn't ever need to trade beauty for practicality, adventure for comfort, or joy for peace.

Happily, the perfect location found us. One precious acre of almost-flat land, framed by the crystal-white waters of the Beas along one edge, and the soaring white-capped Pir Panjal mountains beyond the other. The living embodiment of our childhood dreams!

A short while ago, we opened Raison D'Etre to visitors, and it's been a delightful ride ever since. We've played host to, been inspired by, and, in some cases, inspired, a whole stream of wonderful people. All of them have made us feel that this very special home has been worth all the time and effort that's gone into it.

I do hope you will come visit.
As far back as my memory stretches, I obsessively drew one recurring scene in art class: a wonky little house with sloping red roofs sat in the middle of a rolling meadow, surround…

Matul iż-żjara tiegħek

Since we live on the property, we are happy to advise and guide guests about the many wonderful cultural, culinary, adventure sport, travel and shopping experiences within and around the Kullu Valley. Shalini is available in person, on WhatsApp, email or phone to answer queries.
Since we live on the property, we are happy to advise and guide guests about the many wonderful cultural, culinary, adventure sport, travel and shopping experiences within and arou…

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